Black Entertainment Television founder and longtime Democrat Robert Johnson said in an interview that aired Tuesday that the Democratic Party has become too liberal to defeat President Trump in 2020, unless major changes are made.
“The party in my opinion, for me personally, has moved too far to the left,” Johnson told CNBC’s Hadley Gamble.
Johnson – the country’s first African-American billionaire, according to Forbes – went on to say that because the party has become so liberal, he isn’t supporting a particular 2020 candidate at this time.
“I think at the end of the day, if a Democrat is going to beat Trump, then that person, he or she, will have to move to the center and you can’t wait too long to do that,” Johnson said. “The message of some of the programs that Democrats are pushing are not resonating with the majority of the American people.”
Johnson said the current far-left state of the Democratic Party will work well in the primaries but won’t help in a general election, especially since he feels Trump has his base locked up. The BET founder, who supported Hillary Clinton in 2016, even praised some of Trump’s recent accomplishments.
“I think the economy is doing great, and it’s particularly reaching populations that heretofore had very bad problems in terms of jobs and employments and the opportunities that come with employment,” Johnson said. “African-American unemployment is at its lowest level… I give the president a lot of credit for moving the economy in a positive direction that’s benefiting a large amount of Americans.”
Johnson also told CNBC that he thinks tax cuts clearly helped stimulate the economy, whereas partisan politics have gone too far.
“I think business people have more confidence in the way the economy is going,” Johnson said. “If business people are concerned about anything, it’s the clear, clear partisan politics that’s become very wicked and very mean.”
Johnson said he gives Trump an “A+” for the economy but added that divisive politics are “not helping America as a global nation.”
The 73-year-old entrepreneur founded BET in 1980 with a $150,000 loan and sold it for $3 billion in 2001, according to Forbes.